Both students and teachers have been adjusting to new ways of teaching and learning. Exam season differs depending on where you are, some students find taking a test online to be new and sometimes confusing experience, not knowing what to expect and uncertain of the abilities and techniques that will help them perform at their maximum capacity.
These step will help you to successfully plan, revise and prepare for an online assessment. Many actions you’d take to complete an online exam are similar to those you’d engage in during an in-class test. However, significant distinctions in the online world call for extra awareness and preparation.
These steps are relevant to all exam types and are broken into three major categories. They are preparation:
- Before the Online Exam
- During the Online Exam
- After the Online Exam
Step 1: Before the Online Exam: Prepare
- Study the test instructions and be sure you understand them well. Be sure you can respond to the following questions: Will the test be administered at a fixed time and day, or can you take it whenever you want throughout a specific window? How long do you have to finish the exam? Can you take the exam from home, or do you have to take it somewhere specified (like a computer lab on campus)? Are there any additional critical “need to know” details listed by the instructor?
- Know the test format. What types of questions—multiple-choice, fill-in, short answer, essay—will the teacher include on the test? Maybe a blend of different types?
- Do a self-assessment. If your teacher provides you with a practice test, do it. Practice quizzes might also be available in your course material.
- Examine your computer system. Avoid last-minute issues. Check that your computer, or the computer in the lab where you are taking the exam, has all the necessary hardware and software. Also, confirm that you’ll be in a place with reliable internet access.
- Study the class materials. Even if the test is an “open book,” it’s still important to study and review just as if you were taking it in a classroom.
- Schedule your time. Reduce the time you spend testing yourself to match the exam time and decide how much time you will spend on each question.
- Create a distraction-free, quiet space where you can take the test. Turn off your phones, emails, and other devices’ notifications (or set them to silent). Turn off the radio and TV to reduce interruptions from family or roommates, and let them know you’ll be taking an exam so that they’re less likely to interrupt you.
- Choose a date and time for the test. You might have to take the exam at a specified time. If the examination is scheduled to last several hours or days, pick a time when there will be the slightest chance of distraction, interruption, and nervousness.
- Put together all you’ll need to take the test. If you have materials such as notes, books, or writing implements, be sure they’re ready. Take a deep breath once you log in and stay focus.
Step 2: During the Online Exam: Focus
- Be time conscious. You set the alarm 10 minutes to when your testing window is about to expire.
- Print and keep copies of the test questions and your responses if your instructor permits. It will be useful if you experience technical difficulties while taking the test or submitting your work.
- Stay on the test page. If you are allowed to conduct online research or visit other websites for information, avoid using the same tab or browser you used for the exam because you risk losing all of your work. Instead, use a different browser (or start a second version of your current browser), then perform your search.
- Technical difficulties? Do not worry, but do get in touch with your instructor quickly; describe the situation and any error messages you might have received. If you can take a screenshot, it would be great as well.
- Cross-check your work before submitting it. Make sure each response is accurate and appears as you intended. Review your grammar, spelling and the accuracy of your responses.
- Click the submit button. You should only need to do it once, but if there’s a problem, try it again and inform your instructor immediately. You can email your intended answers in an attachment if you still have trouble submitting it.
Step 3: After the Online Exam: Review
- Evaluate your progress. How do you think you performed? Which questions did you find challenging? Did anything need to be skipped? Recheck your readings and notes to see if you can locate the answers to the questions that confused you.
- Examine your grade. You might be able to find out your grade right away in some circumstances. However, your instructor will need more time to mark tests containing written responses, so give yourself some time before finding out your scores.
- Evaluate how you can perform better on the upcoming test. Did your study plan succeed? Did your plan to take the online exam workout? Remember to note your observations the next time you take an exam.
Finally, work on remaining calm and develop the skills to manage your anxiety. Breathe deeply, let your mind unwind, keep your eyes fixed on your task, and relax. By doing this, you will enter a calmer state.
Effective study methods, such as discussing expectations with your instructors about the scope and format of the test and collaborating on tests and assignments, are the foundation of effective test-taking strategies. Applying various study methods, properly managing your time and stress, and preparing for exams are all prerequisites for success.